Malawi Government yesterday made a second appearance before the United Nations (UN) Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, Switzerland and submitted a report on the state of human rights over past four years.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu, who is leading the delegation, presented the report detailing progress made in areas of human rights since the previous review in 2010.
In his report whose copy was made available to The Nation, Tembenu highlighted the gains Malawi has made in different human rights domains, including gender-based violence, child rights, and disability and prison conditions such as addressing of overcrowding.
He also hinted at several laws passed on the protection of children and the enactment of four key legislations on protection of women, wills inheritance, trafficking, Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act.
Tembenu said government plans to recruit more judges, after deploying 57 magistrates, to improve on case management systems.
However, Malawi received 19 recommendations from member States on minority rights (sexual minority), including issues of discrimination, repealing the laws and access to services.
Reacting to the report, two local civil society organisations (CSOs)—Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) and Centre for Human Rights Rehabilitation (CHRR)—who are also attending the meeting, commended government for submitting its report.
The CSOs also agreed with observations that Malawi has made progress in the areas of child rights and women rights, especially in ensuring that legal framework is put in place.
However, the CSOs said they observed that government was giving wrong information about the environment regarding lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) in the country.